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Page last updated at 18:29 GMT, Thursday, 22 July 2010 19:29 UK

League champions Chelsea hit by injury to defender Alex

Chelsea defender Alex
Alex spent three years on loan with PSV Eindhoven

Premier League champions Chelsea have suffered further injury problems with defender Alex likely to be ruled out for a month because of thigh trouble.

The 28-year-old Brazilian international centre-half, who made his Chelsea debut in 2007, was injured in training.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech is also expected to be sidelined for around a month because of a calf problem.

And former Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun, who signed for £5.5m this month, is out with a groin injury.

The injury is likely to keep Alex out of Chelsea's Premier League opener against West Brom on 14 August.

Tactical Genius Hippo

Cech's absence gives Ross Turnbull and Hilario a chance to stake a claim for the keeper's jersey during the pre-season friendly against Martin Jol's Ajax on Friday.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti said: "I think that against Ajax we will play 45 minutes each for Turnbull and Hilario, and I think Turnbull will start the game.

"There are no more coming that didn't play against Crystal Palace, so Yossi Benayoun is out and Alex has a problem in his thigh but with the other players it is the same squad."

He added: "It is a pre-season match so we don't have too many targets, just to improve our condition and put the players in better condition for the start of the season."

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see also
Cole and Ballack to leave Chelsea
09 Jun 10 |  Chelsea
Chelsea 8-0 Wigan
09 May 10 |  Premier League
Chelsea complete signing of Alex
10 Aug 07 |  Chelsea

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